A Well Muscled Aztec Warrior

I remember, once upon a time, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, having a conversation with a cow-orker about art. We were in a bullpen-style office, during a break, and talking about buying artworks, where to find affordable paintings, if affordable, original art was worth the cost for poor workin’ stiffs like us or if we were better off with prints or reproductions… that sort of thing.

All of a sudden, a voice broke in. It was from another worker, one that we never thought would be interested in the subject. He was a good guy, bright enough, but not from the city. You can take the boy out of the backwoods, but you can’t take the backwoods out of the boy. His voice was slightly garbled from the giant chaw of tobacco he had stuck in his lower lip.

He said, “Oh, I just bought an original painting, myself.”

We were a little stunned at this admission. After a few seconds, I regained my composure and asked, “Oh, what did you buy?”

He said, “A painting of a well muscled Aztec warrior on black velvet.”

Not that I have anything against black velvet paintings, but at that time I didn’t really consider them art.

In the intervening decades between who I was then and who I am now… I have changed my mind.

Graffiti in Deep Ellum. This warrior is nothing if not well-muscled... plus he is carrying off his prize of war.

Graffiti in Deep Ellum. This warrior is nothing if not well-muscled… plus he is carrying off his prize of war.


Welder outside the Plaza of the Americas, Dallas, Texas


Always overlooked is the beauty of work. Every day we walk, move, and live on, under, and around steel welded by unknown men wearing heavy dark masks to protect them from the rays of the arc.

He wields the power that melts steel, joins the strong, flickering and cracking in blinding plasma, high voltage, matter reduced to its most elemental stage.

And all he wants is his paycheck and to go home. And high above, the skyscraper grows higher and higher.

Set List on the Green


After having written a “Bad Review” of Klyde Warren Park… I sure seem to find myself going down there a lot.

Thursday night was a fun event planned at the park – it was the first Set List on the Green, where they had chosen six local musicians to play from 6:30 on, a half hour each. I had not heard of or heard any of the artists:

  1. 6:30 Dan O’Connell
  2. 7:00 Michael Mojica
  3. 7:30 CW Ingram
  4. 8:00 Victor Andrada
  5. 8:30 David Lopez
  6. 9:00 Kirk Thurmond

Work has been tough this week and as the end of the day approached I began to have second thoughts. I had plenty of stuff I needed to do at home. It would be a hurried trip on the DART train downtown. It was getting cold outside.

Sitting at my desk, I decided to make my decision right when I walked into the parking lot. If it felt cold, I would take my car home, otherwise – off to the train station and a ride downtown.

The air temperature was right on the edge, so I hesitated. I’m am trying to live my life outward, so, if in doubt… I go. I went.

I’m glad I went. I had some sliders from The Butcher’s Son and sat down on a little green table to watch and listen. What I enjoyed was the variety of the performers. You really didn’t know what you were going to get – from someone playing Coldplay covers on a solar powered piano to folk music to cool jazzy vocals to complex emotional original stuff to some real banging on the guitar.

I really liked a few of these guys and will make a note of trying to catch them as they appear hear and there in the Metroplex. There is nothing better than local live music.


They will do this the next couple of Thursday nights, and I’m going to give it a shot. Then they will hopefully start up again in the spring – I’m not sure if this will conflict with the Patio Sessions… but at least Dallas is moving in the right direction.

I did not bring my camera, so no original photos – but here’s some youtube videos of the performers.

Rainy Day in New Orleans

New Orleans is over a hundred miles from the ocean, but it is barely dry. Rain comes quickly and unexpectedly… except it is always expected.

Luckily, there is a source of refuge in the Big Easy – whenever the skies open up, there is always a bar handy to seek shelter and good cheer.

Waiting for the St. Charles Streetcar, the rain came down, hard, so we ducked into The Avenue Pub (which happened to be right there).

The Avenue Pub is beer heaven. Open 24hrs. 7Days (never know when it’s going to rain). Their list of beers on tap is three pages long.

The Beer Buddha says:

“Honestly this category really isn’t fair; but why punish one bar because all the others can’t hold it’s jockstrap? We all know The Avenue Pub is THE beer bar in not only New Orleans but in Louisiana. Nothing against all the other bars in the state but you ALL know you have a long way to go to be mentioned in the same sentence with AP.”

Draft Magazine lists it as one of the 100 best beer bars in the country. They say:

“Only in New Orleans will you find a beer bar open 24/7. The staff is militant about clean beer lines and proper glassware, so even when you stumble in at 4 a.m. you get the best pint in the city. Choose from more than 47 rotating taps and about as many bottles, all focusing on American beer. Go for an exhaustive introduction to local NOLA Brewing or to people-watch from the balcony.”

The Complex City Guide has it at 12 in the 25 best Beer Bars in the country. They say,

“Louisiana may not be the first state you think of when you think of beer (sure, they’ve got Abita), but when you change state to city and beer to drunk, it’s no wonder that New Orleans has one of the best beer spots in the country. Avenue Pub features a rotating 47 taps on two floors (so you can get your exercise in between rounds) and once you mix that with some amazing Louisiana cuisine, you won’t be thinking about Bourbon Street no more. And the most important part, here in the land of to-go cups, the Avenue is open 24 hours a day. Yup.”

And all this is right there, right on the Streetcar Line, right when it starts to rain.

My only complaint – they don’t have Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s Pollinator on tap. Maybe I can send them an email.

The Avenue Pub, on St. Charles in New Orleans

  • Moleskine with Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen
  • Streetcar Fare
  • Beer list and food menu
  • NOLA Blonde Ale Beer
  • Fox Barrel Pear Cider (sorry, it wasn’t even noon yet and I was a little beer’d out – so I had a cider. It was good. So sue me)

A lot of taps.

No Orange Slices! No Muddling!

Mojo Cat

Mister Mojo Risin’……..

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in The City of Light
Or just another lost angel…City of Night

—-LA Woman, Doors, Wilson Smith

I sat for a long time in the Opening Bell coffee house in Southside, writing on my laptop. Next to me was a sculpture – an assemblage of various metal parts attached to an ancient wheeled golf bag carrier. A conical brass cymbal topped it off and intertwined with the junk were multicolored neon tubes, glowing and flickering invitingly.

It had a great warning sign, hand-lettered and attached to the artwork.

Mojo Cat

This is ART!

On the back of the warning sign was the title of the piece, MOJO CAT, a sketch of the work, and a link to Sasso Art To Go.

I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone

Motel money murder madness
Let’s change the mood from glad to sadness

Mister mojo risin’, mister mojo risin’
—-LA Woman, Doors, Wilson Smith

What I learned this week, October 5, 2012

“All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.”

—-Jean Luc-Godard

The 25 Most Awesomely Bad Movies on Netflix Instant

I hate to admit it – but I’ve already seen almost all of these. Well, except for Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead  –Troma Baby!

I’ll bet you didn’t even think there was ten:

Get your morning buzz: The top 10 indie coffeehouses in Dallas

I regularly go to three of these: White Rock, Pearl Cup, and Espumoso… and have eaten at Oddfellows (didn’t have the coffee). As far as coffee goes, I don’t drink espresso much anymore – I prefer French Press.

Have to try out some all of the others. Any advice… or anyone wants to meet at one, get with me.

As far as a place not on the list… let’s see… if they are going to put a “more resturant than coffee spot”  place like Oddfellows on there, how can they leave off Cafe Brazil?

Yesterday “Skyfall,” Adele’s theme song to the upcoming James Bond film of the same name, was officially released, and it’s a doozy. The song is the latest in a long line of fantastic tracks from the series; Bond music is just as iconic and essential to the series as 007’s sharp suits and cool cars are. Here are the 10 best James Bond themes—so good, they’ll leave you shaken AND stirred.

The 10 Best Bond Themes

Big Mama's Chicken and Waffles

Big Mama’s… before the fire.

Sad news. I am watching what I eat (am down about 30 pounds) and haven’t been consuming this sort of thing lately, but still – I was sad to see that Big Mama’s Chicken and Waffles has burned and is probably out of business.

Dappled Shade

There are few things as beautiful as dappled sunlight meandering down through a grove of trees.

–Me, 1998

Even on the hottest, brightest, summer days an overhead canopy of old trees makes for shade and comfort.

The air is still and hot and innervated with the sounds of cicadas desperately trying to find their mate before they die, too soon. Their song is desperate – they have waited for over a decade in the dark, hard ground and now have only days in the sun. Their abandoned skins, dry and hard on the barks of trees, their gray blue dead bodies, spent, line the concrete paths.

Everyone has a grove of trees that brings back some sort of memory – you should revisit it and walk around. It looks different… the trees grow slowly, but they grow, the weeds are trimmed in a changing shape – like a slow wave. But it also looks the same, as all shaded groves of trees look the same.

I love taking a rest, lying down and looking up through the trees at the sun peeking through from above.

(click to enlarge)